Lincoln Elementary

Traditional and Montessori Education

    Important Message about Principal Selection

    Posted 12/04/2018

    A message from the Collaborative School Committee

    Dear Lincoln Community:

    As many of you know, Janice Spearman, is retiring at the end of this school year. We would like to first recognize and thank Janice for her years of devotion to our Lincoln students, families, and staff. Janice is a treasure, and whoever is chosen to follow her has big shoes to fill.

    The Collaborative School Committee (CSC) recently met with Instructional Superintendent Chip Dale to learn about the traditional and alternative processes for selecting a new principal and chart our next steps. The process of hiring a principal in DPS is a multi-step process, designed to gather input from a variety of stakeholders to advise the superintendent’s hiring decision.

    The traditional process typically involves five candidates, who are selected for consideration by the instructional superintendent. The candidates are then interviewed by the school interview committee (chosen by CSC) and the assistant superintendent. A community forum is held where finalists answer questions in a town hall-style meeting, followed by a final interview with the superintendent.

    During this meeting, the CSC was informed that DPS does not currently have any experienced principals or assistant principals who are Montessori trained. DPS is currently conducting a search for Montessori-Trained candidates to fill other open positions in the district. This means that if Lincoln were to hire a principal for the 2019-20 school year it is highly unlikely that a candidate with Montessori experience would be among the potential candidates. In response to the shortage of Montessori-Trained candidates, the district has offered to fund the development of an internal candidate, Emily Clark. The alternative process is unique to Lincoln to meet our needs as a school with dual programs.

    Ms. Clark holds a Principal License from Denver University. She is currently co-teaching with Elishama Goldfarb in one of the upper elementary classrooms. She is also a Team Lead. In this role, she coaches and evaluates both Montessori and Traditional teachers.

    After discussion of the pros/cons of hiring a Principal this year or waiting until the following school year, the CSC made the decision to delay the hiring process of a permanent principal until the second semester of the 2019-20 school year. The committee based this decision on input from staff and parents around the advantages of having a candidate that had both Montessori and Traditional experience. The committee also heard about the strong leadership qualities that Ms. Clark has displayed.

    Ms. Clark will transition from her classroom on Dec. 17, 2018, to an internal role where she will work closely with Mrs. Spearman and district personnel for the remainder of the school year. Mr. Goldfarb will become the full-time teacher in the classroom. Ms. Clark will need to complete some specific district training requirements and assessments. This training will continue during the 2019-20 school year. Ms. Clark will serve as the assistant principal under a one-year interim principal in hopes of developing her into a viable candidate in the principal selection process. The assistant principal role will be a temporary role at Lincoln. Ms. Clark will then need to meet additional district training and assessment requirements to become a candidate for principal of Lincoln. In the second semester of the 2019-20 school year, the CSC with input from the community and staff will determine whether Ms. Clark will be a candidate for the Principal position at Lincoln and whether Lincoln will follow a traditional or alternative Principal Selection Process.

    • Dec. 17: Ms. Clark transitions from her upper elementary classroom to an internal position, and Mr. Goldfarb becomes the full-time teacher in that class.
    • Remainder of the 2018-19 school year: Ms. Clark works closely with Ms. Spearman and district personnel for the remainder of the year.
    • 1st Semester 2019-20 school year: Upon completion of district requirements, Ms. Clark becomes assistant principal working with one-year interim principal
    • November 2019: CSC meets to decide whether alternative or traditional process will be used to select principal

    As Ms. Clark begins this work, the CSC has recommended that the community have multiple opportunities to meet and get to know her. The school is currently planning several coffee events with her and will announce those dates shortly. As we move forward in this process the CSC welcomes any input you may have. Please feel free to reach out to any CSC member.


    Lincoln CSC
    CSC Members:
    Anna Maria Jennett
    Tiffany Berry
    Claudia Goodwin
    Ezra Bowman
    Tunisha Hairston-Brown 
    Jennifer Holtzmann
    Amy Jones
    Kate Huisken
    Katie Flanagan
    Suzette Montera-Smith 
    Rachel Namoff
    Sara MacDonald
    Scott Baldermann
    Janice Spearman
    Aimee Wright